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June 29, 2023

Walnut Garden pop-up near Rittenhouse Square closed for code violations

The cocktail garden opened on May 31 in a space destroyed by fire in 2020; now it is shuttered for defying several city codes

Business Violations
walnut garden Provided Image/Aversa PR

Walnut Garden, a pop-up located near Rittenhouse Square, has been closed by the city due to violations. Above, the venue pictured last month ahead of its grand opening.

Walnut Garden, a pop-up cocktail garden near Rittenhouse Square, has been closed by the city of Philadelphia due to code violations.

The concept, located at 1708 Walnut St., opened at the end of May. On Tuesday, it was shut down by the Department of Licenses & Inspections, the Philadelphia Business Journal reported.

MORE: Center City Pretzel Co. looks to reopen in late July – 10 months after it caught fire

By Wednesday night, the outdoor venue had red "cease operations" signs taped to it. In a statement obtained by 6ABC from the Department of Licenses and Inspections, some of the code breaches are outlined:

"While this property was previously notified of several violations earlier this month (no food license, no electrical permit, etc), it received a cease operations notice today (Tuesday) for the clear and present danger of an unsecured 200+ gallon tank of diesel fuel on premises. This requires a proper vehicle impact barrier, spill control system and hazmat license; none of which were present or secured. There are several other violations including a tent and generator that are in operation with no permits and unsecured compressed cylinders."

Walnut Garden was the latest pop-up experience by FCM Hospitality, the event management company also responsible for local experiences like Liberty Point and Parks on Tap

The eatery took over a space that formerly housed a McDonald's restaurant and a Vans shoe store that were destroyed in a fire amid civil unrest in 2020. While the landlord of the torn-down stores plans to put up another building, Walnut Garden was possible through a short-term lease for the summer and early fall, 6ABC reported.

The 11,500-square-foot cocktail garden, which could hold up to 500 guests, was fashioned as an urban oasis with tens of thousands of dollars invested in plants, trees and flowers. The popular spot included two bars, a kitchen serving Asian-inspired street food and an ice cream station.

Walnut Garden must correct all violations before it can reopen, according to the city.

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